27 thoughts on “Meet The New New Facebook”

  1. I can’t help but feel like this is a devolution to the days of Compuserve or AOL. Didn’t we do all this then?

    BTW: “a way to become even more indispensable in our daily web lives” – You presume everyone is like you. They aren’t. I’ve seen college kids scaling way back on FB in the past 12 months, it’s losing it’s allure to many.

    It is, perhaps not 100%, but, largely dispensable. Certainly, replaceable. All things must pass.

    1. I don’t think so. I’d rather think Facebook is here to stay. Zuckerberg has put social netwroking to another level. Sure, like everything else some people will move away from it for all kinds of reason but there’s something about human nature, something that deeply defines us: We need to connect with each others! That’s why I wouldn’t count on Facebook’s devolution.

    2. Considering that 99% of the content on Facebook is flash games, ads, trivia, and friend invites and posts from phishing bots posing as “friends,” it is no wonder that Facebook is AOL reincarnated.

      As Facebook discourages thoughtful, lengthy discourse in favor of two-three sentence (trivial) wall posts, and as the “walled garden” locks out business email senders such as Amazon order confirmation and UPS, why would I want to rely on Facebook for serious communication?

      Never store serious, mission-critical data on Facebook – especially when that data gets automatically shared with “friends.”

  2. Om, isn’t Facebook messaging almost identical to Google Talk + Gmail + Google Wave? It doesn’t seem revolutionary to me. I’ve been using Priority Inbox for a while now, and so at this point it does a pretty good job of putting a hierarchy to my messages. I can SMS, chat, and even make voice/video calls from my Gmail box.

    I think today’s announcement was HUGE for Facebook’s growth, but it’s getting too much press as “an email killer” when in fact we’ve already seen all of this technology.

    I really like your review. You hit the mark, without the over-hype and drama that most other journalists are spinning.

    1. I think you are right about this messaging being much like what Google has been offering. The beauty of this inbox is that is will be seamless and you won’t even notice any difference in the usage experience. I think this is the redefining of the “experience” of communication vs Google Mail Platform.

      1. I tend to disagree. Today I can send email, chat or SMS from the same Google window. And with the integration of Google calendars and mobile I have all the features of facebook without having a social media group tagging things and showing them to friends.

        But does Facebook offer spell check, priority inbox, anti-virus, or privacy to only pass out your address to those you want to have it?

        I think not.

      2. Eric, I think the new Facebook Messaging is more of a competitor to a services like KIK Messenger,Yahoo Messenger, or AIM. It’s not meant to compete with Google… that’s just the media hype it’s been given.

        With integration into Windows Live, it’s providing more support to Microsoft’s competition with Google Apps, but Facebook remains a personal product, not a business system.

  3. I’m sorry, but that dog won’t hunt, Monsignor.

    Your quote decries how poorly the e-mail of old was at sorting incoming mail (~”all e-mail is not equal”), but you then go on to suggest that FB will *solve* this issue? FB, the company that does a poorer job of sorting signal from noise than any other service I can think of today. The solution, to aggregate various incoming data into a main inbox and an other inbox, and where all the different sorts of messages look the same?

    1. Jack

      Good points, but what FB has done is constrained email to friends and friends of friends, which has already increased the utility of the email system and has eliminated some of the ills of spam. I think this is one product from FB where signal might be stronger than you think.

      As I point out, FB is good at stuff which pertains to friends and one more layer beyond that. Anything other than that, it becomes noisy. I wasn’t looking to be impressed by the new inbox, but it was a pleasant surprise, mostly because it doesn’t mess with what is a good simple experience.

      1. But presumably you talk about different things with your close friends, right? You don’t simply have one single ongoing stream of consciousness conversation. Lumping every conversation with a friend into one conversation is the opposite of what I’d want.

        Overwhelmingly, I have simple, one-topic, consecutive conversations with *strangers.* With friends, however, I have complex, multi-topic, concurrent conversations.

        If ever there was a time to throw around the whole, “Not in DNA” meme, this is it.

  4. their sms service is very well integrated…facebook can morph as a good microblogging tool using mobile sms/mms.it has got an integrated photo/video sharing facility that twitter dosent have right now.

    facebook has a bright future ahead, but it needs to take care of not to peep into peoples privacy too much.

  5. Facebook failed ‘business at the speed of trust’ and this is evident with confusing and changing account default settings. For this blunder, people will be reluctant to adopt any ‘solution’ or aggregation to enhance communication. The second reason is that there is no professional technical support provided. Any person who has tried to resolve a technical issue knows what this is like. One wonders about the safety and security of the back end solutions.

    On the other side, I could be wrong here and people will pile in and trust, adopt and use the new Facebook solution.

    We are probably only in the first inning of more new and exciting technology, especially considering the advent of 4G networks.

    We live in an interesting time.

  6. I tend to agree with what Melanie says. Initially FB focused on high school and college kids and then the fuddy duddy’s joined in. Kids today are moving on and once the news spreads that FB is uncool then watch FB come under severe pressure. It is interesting that with Messages, FB focused on kids because it knows that is where the huge number of its users are and most of them use SMS and IM. Tumblr is catching on.

  7. In some ways it reminds me Google wave, but I wish for Facebook it doesn’t follow the same path.

    I agree with Google CEO that this new Facebook features aren’t a threat to Google activities, because the target is different (Google is a quite serious email provider and most of all is more secure than Facebook) and though messaging is integrated with Facebook, IMHO Google is more usable.

    Again, I understand FB need to cover a gap and use his vast “installed base” (or addressable market), but it would have better consolidate and strengthen his features before getting into a such complex addon, with no (substanntial) innovations and more risks for privacy.

  8. Good post Om, takes a practical stand and not a hyped-up one. Wondering, does this ‘new’ feature open potential channels for the revenue stream (something that’s hard to tell in the case of FB), or would sponsored content still be the main channel.

  9. On paper, it sounds great but the only problem I have with it is that FB is taking a grab at being basically everything on the web.

    What happened to the fun of seeking out new content – now it’s all being aggregated into one place; the web is started to lose the wild west feel – sterilization to fit the masses.

    Don’t get me wrong; the net is a tool that everyone should have access and ease of use but it seems like the more it progresses the more it loses its allure. FB is just one of those entities that’s helping it along in some ways.

  10. @Om

    Am I the only one that feels that newsfeed from Facebook is not useful? It contains 3 main things: B’day wishes, Pix, Links (likes).

    Socialgraph is not enough because my interaction (or profile) on Facebook does not give enough information to target me with relevant content. I can go one step further and say that facebook does not even know who my real friends are. I believe that a new Social graph is required, or maybe a time-sensitive social graph, or maybe an instant social-graph that knows what content I want to see at what time.

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